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Warner Bros. was pretty confident in their DC Universe at one point as they announced a great many projects focusing on a variety of characters, including the deadly mercenary Deathstroke. Played by Joe Manganiello, Deathstroke made a cameo appearance in JUSTICE LEAGUE, and it was expected that the super-villain would take on a larger role in THE BATMAN movie, which was to be written and directed by Ben Affleck at the time. It was later reported that Gareth Evans (THE RAID) was developing a standalone DEATHSTROKE film, but as Warner Bros.’ DC franchise is in a state of flux, it remains to be seen whether the film will ever see the light of day.

While speaking with THR, Gareth Evans spoke about the DEATHSTROKE movie, but unfortunately, he doesn’t know where the film stands at the moment. “I had a phone call a long time ago about it, I had a follow-up call where I spoke to Joe [Manganiello] about it, and really nothing else since,” Evans said. “I saw an awful lot of reporting on it! I saw a lot of articles. But I think wherever the articles came from, they know more about it than I do to be perfectly blunt.” Evans did get so far as to envision what his take on the DEATHSTROKE film would have been: something lean, mean, and dark.

[Gareth] Evans’ treatment of Deathstroke sounds promising, to hear him speak about it: “It was an opportunity for me to do something different from what’s out there at the moment,” as he puts it. Different is good. Different, in this case, is “quite lean, quite mean in that way, and be something that wasn’t afraid to go to some pretty dark places, because that character has some pretty dark history about him,” Evans rattles off. He talks about the framework of Korean noir films, something hard-edged, unforgiving, and free of bloat. If you can picture The Raid but with Manganiello kicking ass instead of Iko Uwais, you’ve got the basic outline of how Evans’ Deathstroke might look if the project actually moves ahead.

Gareth Evans’ latest film, APOSTLE, debuted on Netflix today. Our own Eric Walkuski caught the film at Fantastic Fest last month and although he didn’t think that it was a home-run, he did say that APOSTLE “is dripping with foreboding atmosphere and boasts some excellent production design and cinematography. It creeps along at a deliberate pace, laying on disquieting moments and predictably toying with us as it lumbers toward a morbid conclusion.” You can read the rest of Eric’s review right here.

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